EYO4332 - All Saints Fishergate




Location All Saints Fishergate
Grid reference Centred SE 6079 5117 (25m by 21m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire



On Site Archaeology





Excavation of site of All Saints Fishergate and part of associated cemetery. Also produced evidence for Roman burials and a boundary ditch. Skeletal archive currently at Sheffield University. Sheffield University archive summary: Archaeological excavations on the cemetery of ‘lost’ medieval church of All Saint’s in York were carried out between 2007 and 2008. The Barbican collection contains skeletal remains from 667 individual articulated human skeletons from multiple time periods. Seven individuals date to the Roman period, 547 to the medieval era (between c.11th-14th century AD), and 113 individuals were buried in post-medieval mass graves (c.17th century AD). The majority of those interred in the mass graves were men aged between 15-45 years old, and these burials have parallels to other post-medieval military graves. They likely date to the period of the English Civil Wars, and more precisely may be related to the siege of York in 1644. While the majority of the medieval burials adhered to typical burial practices of the time (buried in supine and extended positions), one burial of a middle-aged woman was noted as being of particular interest. She was buried in a tightly crouched position within the apse of the church. This suggested that she may have been an individual of great importance, such as a church benefactress. It has also been posited that this woman was an anchoress, a deeply religious female hermit, who lived in solitude in a separate cell or hut in the church and provided spiritual guidance and religious advice through a small window in her door. The skeleton of this middle aged woman showed she had suffered from severe and debilitating osteoporosis and syphilis. Based on existing records, it is possible that she may have been a renowned anchoress Lady Isabel German, who lived in All Saint’s Church between AD1428 – 1448. The Barbican collection has been the subject of numerous MSc and PhD research projects.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • --- Article in serial: Current Archaeology. 2010. Excavating All Saints. A Medieval church rediscovered.

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

  • All Saints Fishergate (All Saints Priory) (Fishergate Priory) (Monument)
  • Cemetery, All Saints Fishergate (Monument)
  • Fishergate Roman Cemetery (Monument)
  • Roman Ditch (Monument)

Record last edited

Oct 20 2021 4:07PM


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